Camber Dress

Recycling ….!

by Helen on September 8, 2014

One of the things I most love about fabric is that it’s so versatile, and can be re-used over and over in so many ways.  I have been researching American quilting for a series of short articles in my the Bustle & Sew Magazine (August – October issues) and was amazed and humbled at how those pioneer women incorporated even the tiniest pieces – that had often been recycled two or three times previously – into their quilting projects.  And this week I’ve been doing my own little bit of recycling.

As you may remember, I’ve been making Rosie some dresses to take on her honeymoon next week.  She purchased two new lengths of fabric, but funds were tight and she couldn’t manage another length although she would have loved a third dress.  So I had a little rummage in my cupboard and came up with the fabric we used for her wedding cake table ….

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Seen here complete with yummy cakes and pin cushion mice standing guard (photograph courtesy of Emma Case Photography)  It’s a very pretty white cotton printed with tiny pink flower sprigs.  And I thought – that will make a lovely summery dress …..

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And it has!  Seen here just waiting to have the hem taken up.  Lightweight, fresh and pretty – and (nearly) free –  RESULT!

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New visitor .. new dress

by Helen on September 3, 2014

For the last few days we have been a twelve-paw household!  Eight large black sturdy paws, belonging to two slightly goofy newfies – and four slender golden curly paws belonging to Tilly, Rosie and Dan’s little goldendoodle puppy.

Here is the naughty Miss Tilly making herself very comfortable in a TOTALLY forbidden place, deep in blissful dreams and happily waving those four small paws in the air ….

Like all puppies, her bouts of frantic energy, chasing, scampering, nibbling, stealing things she shouldn’t and generally being a bit of a pest, are punctuated by periods of deep sleep, from which she can only occasionally be persuaded to wake for her photo …

(It’s so much easier to photograph a dog that isn’t all black!).  Tilly shows no fear of the newfies at all, even though Ben and Daisy are probably about 10 times her size, and doesn’t hesitate to use them for a pillow when the need for sleep overtakes her (yes, that’s Ben’s bum her head is resting on above – see the full pose below!)

We loved having her – though she has totally worn us all out.  It’s nice to have a peaceful few days to recover our energy levels until she returns for a longer period while Rosie and Dan are away on their honeymoon.  They are heading off to a much warmer, sunnier place, a very long way south and so, along with my Christmas projects for the October Magazine

I’ve been doing some totally tropical(!) dressmaking for Rosie.  We were both delighted with how the Camber dress pattern from Merchant and Mills turned out – it was a dream to make and fitted Rosie’s body shape really well with only minimal adjustments needed.  Rosie chose a much brighter fabric than I’m used to working with – but I think it looks very nice – extremely suitable holiday wear ….

Just the hem to take up now and it’s finished, then onto the next one – only a few days left to finish it before they’re off.  Luckily it’s a really user-friendly pattern. The pieces fit together well there are no zips or other fastenings, and now I’ve worked out the yoke construction I don’t think it takes more than 3 or 4 hours in total.  Better not tell Rosie that though, or she’ll be wanting one for every day of the week!

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A most enjoyable morning

by Helen on August 21, 2014

Yesterday I was very busy all day working hard on the September Magazine.  It’s coming along very nicely and I’m particularly pleased with the cover – featuring my new 21st century Bustle & Sew bunny ….

But while I was very happily occupied, somebody else was feeling a little bored and fed up with the lack of attention….

“Come and play, or what about a lovely walk, come on … puhleeese Muuuummm …..”  

So today I took them both on one of their favourite expeditions – down to the River Avon at Loddiswell.  The river runs clear and cold down from Dartmoor and there’s a beautiful path through woodland alongside, perfect for a gentle relaxing stroll.  But have I ever experienced a gentle relaxing stroll along this path? No.  I have not.  This is because I am towed along by two over-excited, impatient-to-get-in-the water Newfoundlands rather faster than I would choose to travel!  I can’t let them run loose too early as the river banks are very steep and although they’d get into the water absolutely fine, I am not at all sure they’d be able to get out again very easily.  But eventually we reach the wide curve in the river where there’s a lovely shallow shingle beach.   Leads come off and there’s a mad dash for the water …..

River Avon at Loddiswell, Devon

If you’d like to see the image above in a larger format, then please just click on it to view in Flickr.  I wanted to show you how beautiful the river is so took a whizzy panoramic shot on my phone.  I don’t know if you can make out the Newfies – Ben is on the left digging for river stones, while Daisy is paddling around looking for sticks.

As you can see, he’s quite back to his usual self again… collecting some really very large stones – almost too heavy for me to easily pick up.  I took a shot of his collection (he likes to arrange them neatly on the shoreline) next to my feet so you could see their size …

All those large rocks are the stones Ben has retrieved from the river bed!  Hope he doesn’t break another tooth.  Then home for a little sewing. …

This time for Rosie.  She’s asked for a new dress and chosen the Camber Dress from Merchant & Mills.  I’m really enjoying this pattern – there is a most interesting yoke construction and set in sleeves, so lots to think about while the Newfies slumber after their walk.

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